ABO Announces New Certification Process

The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) recently announced a new approach to promote early certification immediately following graduation from a graduate orthodontic program, followed by periodic re-examination. The certification process will take effect in 2007.

“The current Board of Directors has decided that the time for change is now and is undertaking what it believes to be reasonable steps to reinvigorate the process while upholding the historically high standards of the ABO,” says Michael Riolo, DDS, president of the ABO. “Whether case presentation is accomplished at the beginning or near the end of an orthodontist’s career, the Board’s standards of encouraging clinical excellence will prevail. There will be no diminution in the primary objective of the ABO as to ‘the pursuit of excellence in orthodontics.’ ”

One major concern that the Board of Directors had while developing the certification process was that most practicing orthodontists are not Board certified. To rectify the situation, the Board developed the Gateway Offer for practicing orthodontists, which relies on the re-examination process. However, practicing orthodontists may only take advantage of the Gateway Offer until July 1, 2007. In addition, orthodontists may still become certified via the traditional pathways, which will be available until February 2008.

According to Riolo, the Gateway Offer allows a practicing orthodontist to apply for certification, after which he or she will be granted a 5-year certificate. To maintain his or her status, prior to the expiration of the certification, a diplomat must recertify the certification via examination.

“The concept of early certification followed by recertification is a potentially effective means of encouraging the development and maintenance of a practitioner’s clinical skills,” Riolo says. “Such a system is intended to ensure continued competency and progress toward proficiency, thus maximally serving both the public and our profession.”

Orthodontists Receive 2005 Research Awards

During the first meeting of the AAO House of Delegates at the 105th Annual Session in San Francisco, the AAO presented research awards to six orthodontists.

Courtney Dunn, DDS, of the University of Michigan (pictured above, far left), received the Milo Hellman Award, which recognizes an orthodontic research paper of outstanding merit. Her research is titled, “Tissue engineering of Alveolar Bone Adjacent to Dental Implants Through Gene Therapy.”

Scott MacGregor, DDS, of the University of Toronto (second from left), received the Harry Sicher First Research Essay Award, which recognizes the most meritorious first research effort. His research is titled, “The Effect of Micro-Implant Surface Geometry on Peri-Implant Bone Adaptation Under Orthodontic Loading in the Rabbit Tibia.”

The following physicians (third through sixth from left) received a Thomas M. Graber Award of Special Merit, which recognizes excellence in orthodontic research: Paul Rim, DDS, of the University of California, San Francisco, for research titled, “Characterization of the Time-Dependent Differentiation of Calvaria-Derived Rat Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Three-Dimensional Agarose Gels”; Kristy Chung, DDS, of the University of California, San Francisco, for research titled, “The Role of Female Reproductive Hormones in the Etiopathogenesis of TMJ Diseases in Women”; Debora Alvares Harris, DDS, of the University of Sydney, Australia, for research titled, “Volumetric Analysis of Root Resorption Craters After Application of Controlled Intrusive Orthodontic Forces in Human Premolars: A Micro CT Scan Study”; and Shiva Shadmand, DDS, of the University of Toronto, for research titled, “Mandibular Deficiency in Knockout Mice Lacking Bone Sialoprotein Expression.”

Matsco Dental Office Design Competition is Back

Matsco has announced its sixth annual Dental Office Design Competition, which recognizes newly built offices and offices with leasehold improvements or renovations completed between January 1, 2002, and December 21, 2004.

Winners in both small-practice and group-practice categories will be selected for Dental Office Design of the Year, Outstanding Design Efficiency, Outstanding Systems/High-Tech Integration, and Outstanding First Practice.

The two Dental Office Design of the Year winners will receive a $2,500 bonus marketing fund to invest in their practice, as well as extensive media coverage and an engraved plaque for the reception area. Other category award winners will receive awards and media coverage.

All entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2005. The entries will be reviewed in August 2005, and the results will be announced at the 2005 ADA Annual Session in Philadelphia.

All practice types are welcome to apply. For complete details and an entry form, visit